A relaxing family holiday at Kits Coty Glamping on Blue Bell Hill, near Aylesford
Where were you when the torrential rains signaled the end of a disappointingly unpredictable month of August?
I was checking in to spend the night at a campsite with my husband and four-year-old son.
As dark clouds formed ominously overhead as we made our way over Blue Bell Hill towards the Kits Coty Glamping site near Aylesford, all I could think was: Thank goodness we don’t have to try to pitch a tent in this!
And that’s the beauty of glamping – all the fun of indulging in the peace and quiet of the great outdoors, without any of the fiddling with tent stakes and calorie gas.
After a bumpy drive down a narrow country lane, we arrive at the deceptively large site, which owners Ami and Mark have created in a fertile field opposite their family home.
This secluded area is every bit a hidden gem, surrounded by stunning rural scenery, with plenty of walking and cycling trails nearby.
You can choose to stay in a safari, festival or Moroccan themed bell tent, a charming woodland-inspired cabin or a traditional Kentish shepherd’s hut.
As the rain eased, our friendly host, Amy, showed us to our lodging for the night – a charming and quaint shepherd’s hut called Pamela, named after her grandmother.
There are some serious interior design goals on display here, with a dark green and rich gold color scheme combined with strings of twinkling fairy lights creating a beautifully cozy and inviting space.
Everything you might need is here – all bedding, crockery and cutlery are provided at the property – and a welcome pack containing marshmallows, skewers, biscuits and a bag of Bake & Mix sweets which I enjoyed with my young son (and me).
As we explored the picturesque location, we were amazed by how much was on offer here. We were initially disappointed by the biblical weather conditions, but soon realized there were plenty of covered spaces to enjoy, including a colorful Alice in Wonderland-themed seating area, a Mexican-style cozy with comfy leather sofas and shelves for books and toys, and Protected cooking area for barbecues.
My son loved looking at the decorated “Wizard of Oz”-themed garden next to the communal laundry facilities, which includes luxurious restrooms and wet rooms with powerful showers – decorated with pretty pink flowers for the girls and Marvel superheroes for the boys.
As the weather improved, my son enjoyed kicking a ball around in the spacious playground and burning off some energy from catching and mixing in the children’s play equipment. Darts and pétanque are also available.
There are plenty of dining options, with BBQs and gas rings all available – plus a heap of takeaway menus if you don’t fancy cooking.
There is also a shared kitchen area with sinks, fridge-freezers, kettle, microwave, toaster, pots, pans and all the cooking utensils you could need, plus cool boxes and ice packs to keep drinks cold.
You can either bring your own supplies or order one of the dining sets from the glamping site, which include cream teas and breakfast hampers.
But when we heard the location had its own wood-fired pizza oven, we couldn’t resist opting for the pizza package. Priced at £20 for two, £35 for four or £50 for six, you’ll get a box of ingredients including bases, tomato sauce, vegetables and pepperoni, plus fire lighters and food grade wood.
This was definitely the highlight of our stay – making, cooking and enjoying lightly charred pizza outdoors with a glass of wine as the sun set over the North Downs.
As darkness falls, it’s time to start a fire. Each playground has one, plus a seating area and picnic table in a private area cleverly protected by elegant hedges.
We enjoyed toasting marshmallows over the flame to the sound of crackling wood… and nothing else. There’s no tinny singing or amazing bass coming from the adjacent stadium, thanks to the site’s strict no live or amplified music policy. You’ll also never run the risk of encountering large groups of rowdy loiterers, as the site only allows groups of up to six people. Any larger parties – whether it’s for a bachelorette party or a large family vacation – will have to rent the entire site. This really ensures that you have a peaceful stay.
It was then time to fight off the dozens of butterflies gathered at the door of our shepherd’s hut to come in for the night.
We went out the next morning to see the beautiful blue skies and birds singing, a truly idyllic sight. After a relaxing breakfast, we packed up and reluctantly set off for home like true camping converts – with a short detour to the nearby main base to pick up a fire pit.
To learn more, visit the Kits Coty Glamping website. Accommodation prices start from £125 per night.
(tags for translation) Maidstone